Music in Public Schools

Steve sat uncomfortably at the school board meeting, as the item of music was brought up on the agenda. Tonight the school board would vote whether to drop the school music program.

Steve had been dreading this moment, and praying that the ballot would not pass. The votes had been collected and the issue was decided; music would no longer be in Steve’s school. Music programs throughout the country are being dropped every year because of in sufficient funding and support. Does one realize all the benefits students have in the music program? Music programs should hold a pivotal role in schools due to the invaluable impact they have towards motivating students to succeed, raising their self-esteem, and teaching them the importance of responsibility and teamwork. Many people underestimate music education in the schools today.

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Music offers self-discipline and teamwork to children and teens. Children who allot time for practicing each day are known to develop similar habits in conjunction with schoolwork. Self-discipline is thus developed as the child grows up, and positive habits are established. As well as self- discipline, the child will also start to thrive in teamwork with other students. Band members or choristers learn the importance of being a reliable member of a group and are educated as to the importance of being a team player and not necessarily always “the star”. Collaboration is a key essential for children and teens as they grow up, especially in music.

By taking away music from schools, one is destroying an opportunity for children and teens to learn self- discipline and teamwork. Raising a child the correct way is an important part of life. By having music programs in schools, it is like having a second set of parents teaching the child all the important aspects of life, such as responsibility and leadership. Responsibility can be a tough principal to teach to children and teens, luckily the music program has that corner covered. Being in an ensemble requires that one be at every practice and rehearsal.

Consequently, this creates responsibility in the sense that one will lose points for not showing up on time, or missing a rehearsal. Along with responsibility comes leadership. As one rises higher in the music program, leadership opportunities become available, for example, that of a squad leader in the marching band. This position offers excellent leadership practice for later on in life. Music needs to stay in schools to continue its positive effect on students.

While music may teach one many skills in life, it also can develop a higher thinking level and improve one’s memory. It has been proven that a child who is skilled at music excels at problem solving, evaluation, and analysis. Students also learn to count, keep a steady rhythm, and how to multiply and divide to figure out how long each note is. Students say that band is like a breath of fresh air after a long day of work. Music helps to boost ones confidence and helps to keep one on the right track.

Studies show that “music kids” are less likely to become involved with inappropriate habits, like drinking or drug use. According to author, Robert C. Hawley’s book, Human Values in the Classroom, music is a positive way to build up self- esteem: “Over time, a continuing and steadfast focus on the positive in life, on our strengths, and on the strengths of others can help to restore in our students their personal energy, their feelings of importance, their sense of self-worth so they can see themselves as positive forces who can contribute to the task of building a better world.” Music will most likely always have a positive effect on one’s life. The opinions about music programs in public schools will always vary, however it helps to ensure a well-rounded education. Responsibility and teamwork are just a few key factors of music.

The trend of cutting funds for music programs is an alarming one. As for Steve, hopefully with school administrator intervention, the music program will resume. While athletics are rarely touched, music is often the first to go. Music should not be taken out of schools because it has too many advantages. Music encourages self- discipline.

Music encourages teamwork. Music encourages responsibility. Music encourages leadership. Music deserves more respect and really, most certainly, makes a positive difference in the life of a child.